Our seed sourcing team spend all their time searching out new varieties and conducting trials. In the 2008-9 season we have run nearly 1300 vegetable trials, re-testing some of our standard varieties but also testing all the new variety candidates for the 2010 seed catalogue. Yield and taste are two of the most important criteria that we look at in our trials. And, because we grow all the vegetables together we can see almost immediately whether a new variety matches up in terms of yield to our current range and we can taste all the tomatoes or other veg at the same time to conduct a direct comparison. (What a great job eh?)
Once we have selected those we would like to put in our next catalogue, the seeds are brought into our lab for quality control testing which looks for things like germination and purity. THEN and only then are they allowed into a Suttons Catalogue. Phew! Feel a bit sorry for those little seeds!